Sydney, Feb 22: Young off-spinner Arjun Nair, the Canberra-born son of Indian immigrants, has been included in the New South Wales (NSW) squad for their upcoming Sheffield Shield match against South Australia.
The 17-year-old Nair has been turning heads with his abilities to bowl the 'doosra' to perfection. It has been learnt that the Blues selectors told Nair on Sunday (February 21) evening that he had been included in the NSW squad for their clash against the Redbacks at Coffs Harbour starting Thursday.
With an action similar to that of Caribbean spinner Sunil Narine, Nair can turn the ball both ways. The deceit with which the ball is delivered has made the NSW selectors take note of this young talent.
"Arjun Nair is one you need to look out for, he's a massive talent," NSW coach Trent Johnston told Fairfax Media before the start of the season.
"I saw him play NSW versus Queensland schoolboys and I said to Freddy [NSW state talent manager David Freedman]: 'I don't care what he's doing, he's going to be playing in my [NSW] 19s [team]'. For a guy to be able to bowl like that, turn it both ways legally ... I would not be surprised if he was here training with the big boys in the next couple of years." Nair, a Sydney Thunder rookie, made his first-grade debut for Hawkesbury as a 15-year-old.
He has enjoyed a good run with both bat and ball in the last one year. Nair starred in the recent under-19 tri-series against New Zealand and Pakistan in Dubai with 10 wickets and an 89-ball century.
He returned impressive figures of 9 for 75 from 39.5 overs in a recent Futures League match against ACT and followed it up with 4-31 from 20.3 overs in a grade match on the weekend.
With Nathan Lyon in New Zealand and Stephen O'Keefe recovering from a finger surgery, the Indian origin off-spinner will be on standby for Will Somerville who too is not certain to take to the field due to a finger injury.